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Some Lowered Property Assessment Adjustments Possible By End Of Year

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Harold Hayes Harold Hayes
Harold Hayes joined KDKA-TV in August of 1979 as a general assignment...
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — If you own a property in one of Allegheny County’s poorer neighborhoods, you could see a reduced assessed value soon.

That is, if the judge overseeing the process agrees with a lawyer who’s represented property owners who claim the system isn’t fair.

“It would be about 300,000 residential properties,” said attorney Don Driscoll.

Driscoll represented the people who, seven years ago, claimed properties in poorer neighborhoods were discriminated against and argued successfully for a system-wide reassessment.

But the reassessment is flawed Driscoll now claims, and that assessed values of low-end homes increased at a higher rate than high-end homes in about 22 school districts.

The county disagrees and says it’s done all that the courts have required.

Even if the judge agrees, some adjustments may be small.

“Some level of reduction. It may not be a great amount, but some level of reduction, yes,” said Driscoll. “And we think that that’s necessary because the Constitution, the Pennsylvania Constitution, requires that the assessment office, the county, assess properties to the extent that they can reasonably achieve uniformity. And we believe that they can achieve uniformity in a reasonable practical manner by making this adjustment.”

The county still faces a Dec. 17 deadline for calculating new real estate values.

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